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Haniel acquires Optimar, a leading provider of automated fish handling systems


Fast-growing premium provider from Norway brings further diversification to the Haniel portfolio

Duisburg, 21 December 2017. On 20 December 2017, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (Haniel) fully acquired Optimar from the Norwegian financial investors Credo Partners and the company's management. Optimar is a global leader for automated fish handling systems. It develops, produces and installs solutions for use on ships, on land and for aquaculture. Headquartered in Ålesund on the west coast of Norway, the company has grown strongly over the last two years and is expected to generate a revenue of around EUR 115 million in 2017. From six locations in Europe and the USA, Optimar supplies its customers worldwide with customized systems and services. The current management team led by CEO Håvard Sætre will take the company forward as part of the Haniel Group.

"Optimar offers its customers from the fishery and aquaculture industries sophisticated solutions, covering almost the entire relevant value chain. Both the company and the market offer great potential for further growth. Thanks to the broad international positioning and innovation, we see good opportunities to rapidly improve the market position even further," says Haniel CEO Stephan Gemkow. "We are delighted to be enhancing our portfolio with another attractive business so soon after the acquisition of ROVEMA."

Growth driven by the megatrends of automation and Nutrition
The innovative company with about 350 employees is a leading producer of high-quality, automated fish handling systems on ships ("onboard"), on land ("onshore") and at fish farms ("aquaculture"). The turnkey systems are installed either on a stand-alone basis or in conjunction with third-party solutions. As a full-service provider, Optimar also offers auxiliary products and services as well as the general overhaul of used machines for handling seafood.

The market offers great potential: The increasing protein demand of the growing world population, the rising standard of living and the advancing automation of industrial value chains are megatrends contributing to the company's long-term and dynamic growth. In addition to the head office and production premises in Ålesund on the west coast of Norway, the company currently has additional production locations in Norway, USA, Spain and Romania. The company has supplied international customers in the fishery industry and fish farm operators in more than 30 countries.

Strong management delighted with growth prospects
The management team led by CEO Håvard Sætre is looking forward to the future as part of the Haniel Group. Håvard Sætre: "This is a milestone for us. Haniel's many years of experience in developing companies will support and accelerate our growth. Our values are an important part of our corporate culture: innovation and drive, tradition and responsibility. We also see this at Haniel. And we are very pleased to see that the headquarters will remain in Ålesund. We will continue to have the same focus for large as for small projects around the world."

Pål Brynsrud, Senior Partner at Credo Partners, is also convinced that the best buyer has been found: "Optimar has come a long way in a short time, and is a real success story of founders from three companies and Credo Partners working together with management in a team effort. The crucial factor in our decision was that Haniel successfully develops its portfolio companies and pursues a long-term approach to sustainable value enhancement."

It has been agreed not to disclose the purchase price and further details of the contractual arrangements.

Please see the attached fact sheet for further details about Optimar.

The sellers were advised by Arctic Securities and Thommessen Law.

Haniel was advised by PwC Norway, Simonsen Vogt Wiig and Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek.